Cyber criminals never sit still, so neither do KPN’s security specialists
This article is an advertorial, brought to you by KPN and Tweakers Partners.
Jordi Scharloo is no stranger to the police. Not because he does anything wrong, but because, as a researcher at KPN, he works alongside them to make the internet safer. In fact, Jordi and his team often join forces with organizations outside KPN’s corporate world. “One of the things we do is share our knowledge of information on the darknet.”
The fact that cybercrime is hardening is hardly a new phenomenon. “Criminals use ransomware to block access to your files, but they also leak your data if their attack didn’t have the desired result. We’re also seeing activities shifting to channels like Telegram, malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and more and more attacks are taking place on the supply chain, for example at service providers or software suppliers.” Those are the words of Jordi Scharloo, Team Lead of the Security Research Team at KPN Security. He and his team conduct research into all kinds of cybercrime. “We do a lot in terms of sharing knowledge, both internally and with external organizations. We fulfill KPN’s social role.”
A multidisciplinary team
What does that actually mean, a social role? Jordi: “Obviously, we’re a commercial organization, but issues such as sustainability and security are important to us. Initiatives like No More Leaks, in which we collaborate with the police, are widely embraced in the company.” Jordi has been a Team Lead at KPN Security for two years now. “As part of my role, I spend a lot of time working with technology, and I mentor both specialist researchers and young, ambitious, talented people who are pursuing a career in cyber. Our team is multidisciplinary, for example, we have someone who’s great at open-source intelligence and others who are experts in resource logging or hardware hacking. I mainly specialize in threat intelligence and network analyses.”
KPN sees cooperation with external partners as instrumental to ensuring customers’ digital security in various ways. “We try to be a knowledge partner and see where we could be of assistance in society. For example, the No More Leaks initiative launched by the police is fantastic.” Data breaches are happening all the time, and data dumps containing login credentials are popping up everywhere. “The police share the hashes of this data – encrypted, of course – with private partners with whom agreements have been made on issues such as security and ownership. These hashes are then stored on the internal systems of these partners, so when an attempt is made to log in using stolen credentials, the system can intervene automatically. The beauty of this partnership is that it helps to keep our users safe while at the same time undermining criminals’ business model.”